Atlanta Falcons vs. Buccaneers: Tale of the tape
An area of emphasis in the offseason for Atlanta was balance on offense. So far this season, they have achieved this. While the unit has struggled as a whole in recent weeks, the Falcons have been able to pass and run equally effectively this year.
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The Matt Ryan-Julio Jones combination is one of the best quarterback-receiver duos in the league, and Devonta Freeman has dominated on the ground. Freeman leads the NFL in rushing yards (621) and rushing touchdowns (9). Who would have predicted that back in August?
After two disappointing seasons, Buccaneers running back Doug Martin looks in great shape, and his recent performances closely resemble that of his rookie season, in which he rushed for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Martin made a slow start to 2015, but has bounced back with three straight 100-yard rushing performances, and he’s posted 472 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns in his past three outings. He will be the key for Tampa Bay.
The fourth-year pro needs to continue his dominance this season to ease the pressure on rookie passer Jameis Winston. We’re going to see an excellent battle between Martin and the No. 2 run defense this week.
Next: The defenses